Monday, February 18, 2008

Farewell, NoMonthlyFees

I was inspired by the post my friend, Andrew Miller of Your Search Advisor, crafted recently wherein he bid a not-so-fond farewell to Comcast as his Internet Service Provider. In my case, though, it's time for me to say goodbye to my website hosting service,

Oh, I'll admit that back in the beginning they were quite attractive. Only $70 for a year of service. Not bad at the time. So what if their only service option was a trouble ticket with sporadic email notification. I didn't really need it too much as I'm reasonably technically savvy and can often fix my own problems.

I even referred a number of my clients to them.

Then things started to change. I won't say that they got ugly, but they were starting to make mistakes. Some were minor. Some were system breakers. That's when their support system really fell down. What could have taken mere minutes on the phone was taking days to solve via email. I would log a problem. Hours later they would request more information. Sometimes I would be notified of their response, sometimes not. More hours wasted on trying to get things working. Sometimes the solutions weren't even real solutions (delete the entire account and start over? I don't think so).

I'm not saying that the folks I was dealing with were any more incompetent than any other hosting service, but at least when I'm on the phone with someone, I can uncover that incompetence quickly and work past it.

So, I'll be looking for a new hosting service, even though it will be a big hassle to switch. I just can't take these problems anymore. I'll also be recommending that my clients no longer use NoMonthlyFees, either. There are lower priced options out there and they have 24/7 telephone support.

So, my short recommendation for choosing your hosting service is that the support really does matter. Be sure that you always have immediate access to a real human being. You'll be happier in the long run.

So, what aspect of customer service do you think is most important?


Debby said...

This is interesting you should ask. Yesterday I went to a restaurant to help celebrate a birthday for a friend. There was a large group. I asked the server if I could have a separate check. He immediately said no. Then after I reacted, ("Oh that's okay.") he said that he could and was planning to do separate checks. I had to ask him for water at least three times before I got it. My meal came without the sour cream listed on the menu. When they brought a birthday dessert to the b-day girl, they pretended they were going to feed her a bite of the ice cream and then instead got it on her nose. On purpose. Hmmmmm. I saw them do the same thing later at the next table. I felt picked upon and underserved.

Anonymous said...

Hey Greg, I've been meaning to drop in and comment on this one. Thanks for the shout out!

Shortly after I posted this I got a letter from Comcast trying to rectify the problem that I had reported to the Better Business Bureau.

I applaud Comcast for monitoring the social media sphere and responding offline. The problem is, I never reported anything to the BBB, nor did my post indicate that I did. Comcast got their facts wrong and didn't even take the time to send the right form letter. In addition to containing more than a few grammar and spelling errors, it arrived on the same day that they said they would consider the issue resolved if they didn't hear from me.

The lesson? Even well-intentioned blogger outreach can backfire when the approach is not customized or personal.

I hope your experience was better than mine.

Brian said...

I too had When I started out it was $35 a year for life, never any increases they said. But, they found ways around that and I think eventually forced everyone to the $70 per year. I thought they were always arrogant, and they acted like children. I remember them saying one time that if you say anything bad to them, they will fine you $100. They could never fix a problem, they would just move you to a different server. They always made me very nervous. I am glad I am rid of these thugs.

Bob said...

FYI: is now Same scum bags and they will fine you $100 if you call them idiots. Stay away from